Poll: Santorum soars in Ohio
February 15th, 2012
09:51 AM ET
8 years ago

Poll: Santorum soars in Ohio

(CNN) - Do you need more evidence of the Santorum "surge" in state and national polling?

If so, then check out a new survey in Ohio released Wednesday morning by Quinnipiac University.

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According to the poll, the former senator from Pennsylvania and one-time long shot for the GOP presidential nomination has soared to the top in Ohio, an important Super Tuesday state. Thirty-six percent of people likely to vote in the state's March 6 Republican primary say they support Santorum, with 29% backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 20% supporting former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and 9% backing Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

The survey was conducted nearly entirely after Santorum's victories over Romney, Gingrich and Paul last Tuesday in caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota and a non-binding primary in Missouri. Santorum's sweep of the February 7 contests sparked his surge in national and state polling, and cemented the perception that Romney was having a hard time locking down support of core conservatives.

"Sen. Rick Santorum has zoomed to the front of the line among likely voters in Ohio's March 6 Republican presidential primary," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "He appears to be riding the momentum from his victories last week in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri."

Ohio is also a crucial battleground state in the general election, and the poll looks ahead to November. In a hypothetical matchup, President Barack Obama has a 46% to 44% margin over Romney, which is within the survey's sampling error. The president tops Santorum 47% to 41% and beats Gingrich 50% to 38%.

The poll indicates that picking Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, a Romney backer, as Romney's running mate would not help the GOP, with the Democratic ticket topping the Republican ticket 47% to 43%.

Ohio voters are split on whether Obama deserves a second term in the White House, and are also divided on the job he's doing as president. Forty-seven percent give him a thumbs up on his performance, with 48% saying they disapprove of how he's handling his duties. The 47% approval rating is Obama's highest rating in Quinnipiac polling in Ohio over the past year.

Ohio also has an important Senate contest in November, with Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown battling for re-election. According to the poll, Brown leads Republican Josh Mandel, the Ohio state treasurer, 48% to 35%. The survey indicates that Brown has a 47% to 34% approval rating, and by a 46% to 34% margin, voters say he deserves a second term in the Senate.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted February 7 through February 12, with 1,421 registered voters in Ohio, including 553 likely GOP primary voters, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus 4.2 percentage points for questions only to likely Republican primary voters.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Ohio • Rick Santorum • Ron Paul
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. MN Mom

    Go Santorum Go! It will only make President Obama's re-election that much easier.

    February 15, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. The California Gal

    The flavor of the week...

    February 15, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. Debby

    Well it worked for Gingrich Santorum. I feel sorry for Santorum's wife the way he thinks of women in general.

    February 15, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Michael in Houston

    If Rick Santorum ends up being the GOPs best candidate, the GOP is in far worse shape then even I thought.

    February 15, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. johnB

    Why when I click Ron Paul this comes up....seriously? Stop ignoring the one candidate that has a chance of beating obama.

    February 15, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. SafeJourney

    Santorum, Really?? lol

    February 15, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  7. A Texan

    How soon people forget--- He was as corrupt as they come; even more so than most........ That`s why he wasn`t re-elected as a senator.

    February 15, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  8. johnborg

    Good news for Obama. Santorum's politics are too radically-right; he makes both Romney and Gingrich look somewhat sane. Well, I guess GOPers are looking for a "true conservative" and here he is; he is so traditional, he's living in 1600.

    February 15, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. Loren, Keene NH

    If the purpose is to beat Obama, Romney does better against him. Wake up Ohio!

    Rick Santorum is way to conservative for Independant voters.

    Romney 2012!

    February 15, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. SPA Knight

    Santorum represents middle America more than any other candidate. He an experienced legislator serving in both the house and Senate. He is also the only true conservative candidate in the race.

    February 15, 2012 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  11. diridi

    Educate these form belted idiots of Ohio, Iowa, Indiana, etc, No one in the right mind will ever vote for this idiot, nor Romney. Period. These animals sell this nation to China, India, and other nations, for cheap labor, and ship jobs overseas. True, true, and true.

    February 15, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  12. Dave

    CNN needs to do the responsible thing and be all over The Maine Results & the fact that People were denied the right to vote. Those 3 Counties could swing the winner. The word is that a Romney supporter did not get some results in on time on purpose & the other counties were denied their voice based on the snow & the states decision to make it final. Come on CNN For 2 and a quarter centuries soldiers fought & died for this great Country & you canr even do the right thing & at least find out who was behind those fine folks being denied there voice. Please be all over this story, People are denied their vote in Iran & Syria, BUT NOT HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 15, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  13. MikeH

    Seeing as how he wants to move America back to the 13th century with witch-hunting, Inquisition torture and all that, this article title should really read "Santorum sores in Ohio"

    February 15, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  14. Charlie

    I have issues with Obama but there is no way on earth I will vote for a guy who will try to use the government to force his religious views on me.

    February 15, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. zap

    Obama is toast.. he has done so bad that he will be beat worse that carter cause he is worse than carter.. duh

    February 15, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Wow! Ayatollah Santorum is leading in swing states. Willard's in trouble now. He's having a hard time connecting to blue collar workers. Maybe it's because he shipped most of their jobs overseas.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012
    ELIZABETH WARREN 2012 & BEYOND

    February 15, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Tam

    That's among his group of supporters only. When you go into the mainstream, well, remember Icarus? [I guess his group wouldn't know who that was] He won't be soaring.

    February 15, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  18. V in Chicago

    Careful here folks! Do you homework on this man. He is not what he puts himself out to be. He is dishonest (check out Santorum and School Scandal) and also take a look at how he preceives American's lives would be better if women were not in the work force and staying home with the kids. His caveman mentality on women is enough to make any woman pause before voting for him. He calls the "glass ceiling" in the work place "fiction" and he thinks the women's movement is a liberal ploy to destroy the country. He is racist. Even going so far as to state that a "black man" has no business in a position of authority. Yea, good old christian Ricky is NOT what he wants you to think he is. If this is the man the Rebuplicans put up against Obama, they will have the biggest loss in history.

    Again, please read up on this man and his stances over the last 10 or so years. I did and my eyes were sure opened.

    February 15, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Dave

    Come on please do the right thing for America,

    February 15, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Larry L

    The key is the term "likely to vote"... Many Republicans and Independents who might have voted have been repulsed by the ridiculous choices from the clown car. Santorum's voters come from that right-wing fringe who also believe the Earth to be less than 6000 years old, want war with iran, and would prefer a theocracy. That group votes but fortunately for America, there's not enough of them to win the general election.

    February 15, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Laverne

    Seems to me if Romney plan on becoming the republican nominee, he better figure out how to beat Santorum instead of lying and distorting truths about Obama.

    February 15, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. MSH Miami

    Bring it on! There's no way such a religious extremist could ever beat Obama in a general election. Despite the rabid subset of the Republican party that believes otherwise, the United States of America is a Democracy, NOT a Theocracy, and religious radicalism has no place in our government. We have religious freedom in this country, which means that you are free to live your life by any religious beliefs you choose, but it also means you have no right to force your religious beliefs on me.

    February 15, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. mjbrin

    are there that many traditional catholics in Ohio?
    hmmm.....well....i hope my female catholic friends in Ohio take note......he would have us go back to staying home and being pregnant.....oh and it would be all the woman's fault if she got pregnant.......because the poor men just can't tell themselves to keep it in their pants....

    February 15, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is looking like Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich are not going to matter much. Gingrich has so much bagage. The Ron Paul supporters are full of sound and fury, but they are like a tale told by an idiot because they don't all show up to vote. If Paul could get his numbers at the polls WHERE IT MATTERS then he'd be more of an influence. I guess that it is their freedom not to vote. It helps us become a laughing stock because of our low voter turnout.

    February 15, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. george of the jungle

    good news for democrats

    February 15, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
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